May 8, 2015
Greetings Osprey Community,

Laurel Rodd and her daughter, Allie, right after she crushed her senior talk on stem cells and regenerative medicine
As we head into the final three weeks of school, we prepare to say goodbye to our seniors and a handful of excellent, committed educators who will be spreading their wings and leaving us soon, too. It's an emotional time, and we are grateful for the opportunity to intentionally extend our appreciation to those students and staff who are leaving.  In addition to Head of School Jake Lauer, the following Ospreys will be moving on at the end of the year:
  • Colleen Dunning, Biology (founding teacher)
  • Matt Hughes, Senior Humanities
  • Effi O'Neil, Algebra 2 and Math Department Chair
  • Caitlyn Kneller, Geometry
  • Amy Hewitt, Spanish 1
  • Zoe Nelsen, LINK
  • Kim Coufal, College Counseling
Effi and her excellent impetus for moving closer to family, son Vincent
We are so grateful for all that this group has contributed to make Animas the unique educational community it is and we are excited to follow their adventures as they unfold.  Colleen will stay in Durango, shifting to a new career in the field of biology at Hood Mortuary.  Matt and family are off to Singapore, where he will help an international school implement project-based learning and senior projects.  Effi and her family are moving to Albuquerque, to be closer to family, Caitlyn will welcome her second child in 
the  fall, and plans to stay in Durango, and Amy will return to Martha's Vineyard for the long summer season and continue to be an active AHS volunteer when she winters in Durango.  Zoe is diving more deeply into her PhD research and practice, and Kim will return to Farmington to care for her mother-in-law.  We wish each and every one of the very best and will miss them!  Please be sure to share your appreciation with them, as well.

Sophia and Lanae selling comida de la calle for their Spanish 1 Exhibition
Change can be challenging, but it certainly makes it easier knowing that we have a fantastic group of talented educators joining us next year; please read on to learn more about our incoming teachers.  
We'll see a few internal shifts as well, with Spanish 2 teacher Janae Hunderman taking on the LINK coordinator position, and Kylie Krauss moving from the ESS department to the 9th grade Math program. Lauren and Kylie will each teach two sections, allowing Lauren to transition to half-time so she can spend time with her family.  Finally, Lori Fisher will move from 10th to 12th grade Humanities.  We are still in the process of identifying the perfect folks for ESS and College Counseling and will let you know when those positions are filled.

Many thanks for all the great participation in last night's All-School Exhibition--what a cool celebration of the diverse academic experiences students have had this year.  Osprey Week, which begins on Monday, will be a welcome respite before diving into tPOL prep, and we look forward to the adventures ahead.

Thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!
Upcoming AHS Events  
View the 2015-16 AHS School Calendar here

New Osprey Faculty for 2015-16


In addition to our new Head of School, Sean Woytek, we look forward to welcoming the following teachers to our flock next year:


Tina Hott joins the science department, teaching Biology to 10th graders on the heels of her recent work teaching Biology, Chemistry, Science Fiction and Current Events at Mancos High School.  Tina received the Outstanding Future Teacher award from Fort Lewis' Education Department and is a nationally ranked collegiate cyclist.

Ally Johnson joins Stephen Sellers in teaching 10th Grade Humanities.  She is excited to join the Osprey community and come home to the Four Corners after completing her master's degree at Stanford University's Graduate School of Education. She began using project-based learning as a Teach for America Corps Member in New Mexico, before designing experiential academic curriculum for Aspiro Adventure in Utah. She was born and raised in Seattle, where she developed a passion for social justice, silent sports done in nature, live music and locavore cooking.


Dan Thurber join us from the Alzar School in Cascade, Idaho, where he held build a semester-long leadership development program for high school students and taught Geometry through Vector Calculus.  Dan will teach Algebra 2, and he's excited to bring his passion for outdoor adventure and math to the nest.


Our High Tech High connections continue to grow, as we welcome Aliza Cruz to the math department as well.  Aliza taught at the HTH Chula Vista campus with Kyle Edmondson, the same campus where our incoming head of school, Sean Woytek has spent the past year.  Aliza will teach Geometry.  She is looking forward to growing as a practitioner of project-based learning, particularly by sharing her PBL experiences with her new educational community.  Prior to being a teacher, Aliza researched explosives and energetics at a naval laboratory in Indian Head, Maryland and she has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in education from the University of San Diego. As a (new but enthusiastic) climber and snowboarder, Aliza can't wait to explore all of the outdoorsy goodness Durango has to offer.


Born and raised in the Texas hill country, Jenny McKenzie spent most of her life surrounded by the Spanish language and we're glad to have her teaching Spanish 1 and 2 next year.  Jenny earned a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from Southwestern University in 2004.  In 2005, she responded to the call of the mountains and adopted Durango as her new home, where she has worked as a substitute teacher at Durango 9R schools, a widerness therapy instructor at Open Sky, and a Bilingual Family Advocate/Parent Educator for La Plata Family Centers Coalition.  Jenny has been teaching middle school and high school Spanish in Ignacio for the past four years.


Britt Gordon, a talented painter who shows frequently in our community, will be teaching Visual Art Electives.  She is also the art teacher at Durango Montessori School and is beyond thrilled to share her artistic knowledge with the students and team at AHS.  Mark your calendar for her upcoming opening at the Lost Dog on Friday, May 15th from 6:00 to 8:00pm and view Britt's work online at


Welcome to the nest, all!


Osprey Appreciations

 Thanks to Mild to Wild Rafting  & Jeep Trail Tours for providing a shuttle bus at All-School Exhibition.  Thanks, too, to Durango 9R's Bus Barn Manager, Sharon Crouch and her assistant, Kathy Gonzales, who solved the driver shortage problem they were facing by offering to drive our students to and from Ghost Ranch for Osprey Week next week.


Much appreciation, too, to Jen Brown, mom to junior Summer, for jumping in the last few weeks to help with lunch on Thursdays and Fridays!

Enrollment for 2015-16

 There are still a small handful of open seats for enrollment in the 2015-16 school year for incoming 9th, and 10th graders.  


Returning families--please be sure that your registration packets are completed and turned in!

Questions? Contact AHS Registrar Maureen Truax at (970) 247-2474 x2307.

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Phone: (970) 247-2474
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